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Trip Summary & Observations - 4/24-4/29 @ Luxor

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by eksantirik, May 1, 2015.

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  1. eksantirik

    eksantirik Low-Roller

    Dec 1, 2011
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report

    This is not a trip report per se, but more like my observations from my very recent trip:

    - Gambling

    It seems like table game conditions are getting worse and worse every single month. I have seen many $15-$25 minimums on 6:5 blackjack tables and very few $5 minimum tables in general this time. Even some lower-end hotels go with the flow.

    However, there is a new trend emerging, machine table games. This was already big last year, but this year it got bigger. Aruze's shoot to win craps tables are virtually at every casino and a lot of fun to play. Same thing for blackjack and roulette machines throughout. I spent most of my time on these machines, especially the craps one. But not all machines are the same, so definitely watch out for the rules. One blackjack machine at Mirage pays 1:1 for BJ, I couldn't believe my eyes!! I also saw a Let it Ride machine at Bellagio (just next to the Lily Lounge). These have $1 minimum, and I played them a lot. It was a pretty good deal I think, compared to the $5-10 minimum live Let it Ride.

    Best blackjack on the strip, by far, is at Excalibur and Luxor, at these community machines. Both are S17 tables with surrender and DAS, Excalibur at $3 minimum and Luxor at $5 minimum. The location of the machine at Excalibur is much nicer (close to main entrance on the NYNY side), great point for playing and people watching. Cheap fun at virtually 0 house edge, if you play perfect basic strategy. And both machines issue points for play as well. On live tables, you won't get a single point even if you play $20 per hand. The only live blackjack I played was at Bellagio. It was a nice surprise to see $10 3:2 blackjack on a saturday night, at one of the top casinos in town. Kudos to Bellagio for this.

    Aruze's craps machines are also great value for money, however, pay attention to the odd rates. Some have 2X, some have 3X and some 5X. I mostly played at the Luxor one, and it had $2 minimum with 3X odds, pretty good deal for a low roller like me. You also earn points at the Luxor one. Other places differ, some give points, some don't, so watch out for that too.

    For quarter VP on the strip, I recommend Luxor's progressive quarter machines, close to the Criss Angel store. At one point the progressive royal was $2000+ and I missed it, the next morning it was reset to $1000+ levels :( It has 9/5 JOB paytable, better than all other quarter VP machines at Luxor and pretty much anywhere on the strip. I didn't do the math but even at 9/5 level, with the $2000 royal progressive it should've been an + advantage game.

    So, limiting my play to mostly craps, blackjack machines and video poker; with some slots added in between for fun, I ended up losing only $75 for the whole trip. However, this includes $45 freeplay, $90 Win cards promotion chips and $20 offer from Casino Royale. I think main reason for the loss was my video poker play, as I was never able to hit anything better than a full house. Oh well :)

    - Luxor

    A pleasant surprise! After staying twice at Aria last year, I was expecting a big let down, but no, I was pretty happy with Luxor, except the location.

    Check-in was a breeze at the invited guest desk, tower room was nice and clean, wi-fi in the room and throughout the property was fast and easy to connect. As a comparison, I was really bored with entering my room info at Aria, every time I turned on the device. And Mirage's internet speed was very bad. So, Luxor's wi-fi connection was much better than both properties.

    Paying resort fee for comp room was the only negative, along with the location. I had to do a lot of walking this time. I tend to play a lot at or around Bellagio, and Luxor is a little bit too far from there. However, I found that Luxor casino had much better conditions than most other hotels and I played a lot here. I had some prejudices against the casino floor but I was pleasantly surprised again. The casino floor was very nice and lots of fun. With the exception of live blackjack tables at 6:5, all games were better than at most places on the strip.

    I found that the casino at Luxor and even Excalibur was better than casinos at Harrah's, Flamingo in every way. I think people on this board go really harsh at these two properties.

    - Wincards

    You can read my comment on the Wincards thread, but all in all, if you happen to be at Luxor, NYNY, MB and Circus Circus definitely take advantage of these.

    - Stores & shops

    I get some of the shopping, especially Forum, Crystals, Canal Shoppes, Walgreens/CVS etc. However, the shops around the inter-hotel walkways were looking were depressive. Almost all were empty, and there were hundreds of them. I think Grand Bazaar shops at Bally's are like these too. And everything was pricey at these places too. I think Vegas definitely needs some shopping but not at every single corner and not at jacked up prices at questionable quality.

    - Dining

    I utilized the $20 off at Tender coupon (given at check-in) and I really liked it. $25 after-coupon price for the 14oz boneless NY strip was a great deal and it was very tasty.

    I tried the pastrami sandwich at Zooza Crackers and it was horrible. Super-dry and no taste at all. It was also very cold. The next day I had the pastrami at Carnegie Deli and it was great as always. They are worlds apart, despite lots of contrary Yelp comments. Zooza sandwich was 12.99, Carnegie was 16.99 but I wouldn't hesitate a minute to pay the $4 extra.

    I also took advantage of free sandwich coupon at Earl's @ PH, and found the Original to be not so good. It's small and basically very little meat. All I could taste was melted cheese. However, the pastrami/corned beef sandwich at Firehouse Subs was awesome compared to Earl's. They are similarly priced at $6-7 level.

    Pizza at Grimaldi's @ Palazzo was probably the best pizza I had. Will probably be my Vegas classic from now on. I also tried the pizza at 800 degrees @ MC, and it was meh, pretty good prices though, for Strip (just don't go for the toppings).

    My favorite burger, Kobe Burger at Grand Lux is no longer on the menu :( so I got up and left. They also gave me trouble for ordering lunch around 10:45 AM and it was not just worth it.
  2. Simpatt

    Simpatt Low-Roller

    Apr 6, 2015
    Dublin, Ireland
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thanks for the TR, good to hear about the machine BJ & Craps. Can you expand on the Win Cards and where I can pick some up? Thanks
  3. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Jan 21, 2013
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Totally forgot about the win cards. Damn!

    Glad you had a better experience with luxor than we did. Unfortunately, I don't think gf will ever want to go back there!

    Luxor has a couple great options for a quarter VP player. I was playing on the 9/5 JoB progressive Saturday night and that thing moves fast! It jumped over $300 from noon to 4 am. That night it was just me and one other dude, and I let him play solo for awhile so we could count the meter. Went up 9 cents for 8 hands, so the meter is ~0.9%, making JoB > 99% on average.

    I will never forget the first time playing it though, $2660+ before seeing fantasy, and ~$4800 when I returned 36 hours later! Couldn't get a seat then. :( Some guy hit it within 30 minutes of my arrival.

    Also, Aurora bar at Luxor has 8/5 DDB, but it's a six way progressive that moves generously. I would say 2% minimum. One of the best quarter bartops in vegas along with Bellagio's 9/5 JoB on the superstar units along the interior of the sports bar.
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